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Friday February 11, 2005 2:07 am

Why Napster To Go Works


Napster To Go

When I originally heard about Napster To Go, I thought the concept was pretty cool. Instead of buying music on a per track basis, you instead pay a monthly fee and download as much music as you want.The kicker here of course is that since you are subscribing to the content, once you decide to end the subscription everything you downloaded goes away. It just simply doesn’t work anymore. Many have said that it just wouldn’t work, but I think that Napster may have caught on to something here.


You see, I still have a hard time believing that people pay for radio. Sure, they are satellite quality feeds with no commercials - but it’s radio. For example - Sirius radio costs $12.95 per month if you go with their monthly plan. Now, you get a whole lot of channels for that price, but you are still at the mercy of the Sirius playlist as far as what you are going to hear. You cannot just program and queue up 20 songs that you want to hear in any particular order. Now, you also can go with XM Radio which gives you a more inexpensive price at $9.95 per month, but you still have the same limitations as far as not having a choice in the specific track you are going to hear.

Now, compare this to Napster To Go. First of all, the price is $14.95. This is $5.00 more than XM Radio, and a mere $2.00 more than Sirius. Now, check out what you get - you can listen to any and all tracks available on Napster on your home PC. You can also load any track onto a PlayForSure-compatible audio device and take them with you. Think about this for a moment - you can load up any of the 1,000,000 tracks available on the Napster service. You pick and choose what you want to hear, and can create playlists using the downloaded files. You can take it into the car and plug it into your system. You can take it on mass transit and not worry about losing the satellite signal. You can listen, commercial-free, with the ability to choose your own playlist - you aren’t at the mercy of Sirius or XM to play that head-bobbing single you heard yesterday and can’t wait to hear again today. This is what the future of digital audio is all about.

So, I know the Napster To Go ad pictured above which compares its pricing to that of iTunes makes little sense. After all, I know a bunch of people with full iPods, and not ONE of them spent $10,000 to do it. Funny thing is, Napster of all companies should recognize that people know how to use P2P programs to get their tunes. I think that the comparison really needs to be made to the price of satellite radio, and the fact that you have access to over a million tracks at any moment.

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